Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2017, 12:01 GMT

Mali: As rebels seize control of Northern Mali, IDPs face grave risks

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 4 April 2012
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Mali: As rebels seize control of Northern Mali, IDPs face grave risks, 4 April 2012, available at: [accessed 24 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Between March 30th and April 1st, Tuareg fighters of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) seized the capitals of Azawad, Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu. Rebel forces were reportedly moving further south towards Mopti, where hundreds of people were seen fleeing the town. There is also increasing concern for some 95,000 IDPs currently dispersed in northern Mali. Of these, it is estimated that 38 percent are sheltering in Timbuktu, 32 per cent in Gao and 30 per cent in Kidal. In addition, Tuareg IDPs who fled to southern parts of the country are at risk of suffering reprisal attacks by those hostile to the rebellion.

This conflict follows the overthrow of President Amadou Toumani Touré on 21 March by Malian soldiers who accused him of limiting their means of addressing the Tuareg rebellion in the north. Since then, Mali has been increasingly isolated; it has been suspended from ECOWAS and the African Union, and several governments have suspended financial aid.

Humanitarian organizations are increasingly worried that both of these recent events will further complicate access to IDPs, and gravely worsen their situation in a region already suffering severe shortages of food, water and medical assistance.

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